Influence Heart Failure Treatment
January 22, 2009
THURSDAY, Jan. 22 (HealthDay News) -- Drug
treatment for heart failure is influenced by the gender of the patient and
the doctor, according to German researchers who evaluated 1,857 patients and
the treatment records of 829 physicians.
The study found that female patients were less likely to receive
guideline-recommended medications, such as angiotensin-converting enzyme
(ACE) inhibitors, angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs) and beta blockers.
Women also received lower doses than men, the study found.
And, drug treatment was more complete, the researchers said, when patients
received care from a female doctor.
The use of ACE inhibitors and ARBs was lower in female patients treated by
male doctors than in male patients treated by either female or male doctors.
The dose of ACE inhibitors and ARBs was highest in male patients treated by
female doctors and was lower in female patients treated by male doctors. Use
of beta blockers in male patients was not affected by the doctor's gender,
but female patients treated by male doctors received lower doses of beta
blockers than did male patients.
The findings were published in the European Journal of Heart Failure.
"The use of evidence-based treatments as described in the latest guidelines
has undoubtedly improved the treatment of chronic heart failure," Dr. Magnus
Baumhäkel, of the University Hospital of the Saarland in Homburg, Germany,
and a study author, said in a European Society of Cardiology news release.
"But there is still evidence of a gender imbalance in both patients and
physicians. From our results, it seems fair to say that the gender of the
physician plays an important role in adherence to drug treatment
recommendations in chronic heart failure."
A number of recent studies have identified gender differences in medical
care and survival among people with cardiovascular disease. Many of the
studies found that women are treated less intensively than men, especially
in the acute phase of the disease.
Source : The American Heart Association